Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 48 mins

Where did you watch this movie?

This classic tale follows the twists and turns in the life of Charlotte 'Charlie' Newton, a young woman who is is bored with her quiet life at home with her parents and her younger sister. She wishes something exciting would happen and knows exactly what they need: a visit from her sophisticated and much traveled uncle Charlie Oakley, her mother's younger brother. Imagine her delight when, out of the blue, they receive a telegram from uncle Charlie announcing that he is coming to visit them for awhile. Uncle Oakley creates quite a stir and charms the ladies club as well as the bank president where his brother-in-law works. Young Charlie begins to notice some odd behavior on his part, such as cutting out a story in the local paper about a man who marries and then murders rich widows. When two strangers appear asking questions about him, she begins to have suspicions about the true nature of her beloved uncle. As she begins investigating into Oakley's activities, a gory picture emerges. Will her knowledge endanger her own life?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Teresa Wright

Crew: Alfred Hitchcock (Director), Joseph A Valentine (Director of Photography), Dimitri Zinovievich Tiomkin (Music Director), Franz Lehar (Music Director)

Rating: U (India)

Genres: Mystery, Thriller

Release Dates: 15 Jan 1943 (India)

Tagline: A Blast of DRAMATIC Dynamite exploded right before your eyes!

Movie Rating
Based on 0 rating
Music Rating
Based on 0 rating
Did you know? A box office failure when it was released in 1943. The box office rank was #81 for the year. Read More
No reviews available. Click here to add a review.
as Uncle Charlie
as Jack Graham
as Emma Newton
as Young Charlie
as Roger Newton
as Ann Newton
as Catherine
as Herbie Hawkins
as Station Master
as Louise
as Joseph Newton
as Fred Saunders




Production Company




Story Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Art Director
Set Decorator


Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Black & White
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1, 1.37 : 1
A Blast of DRAMATIC Dynamite exploded right before your eyes!
When Young Charlie finds she's locked in the garage with the car's engine running, she might reasonably have gone back to the car and broken out through the door with the car driven in reverse.

Crew/Equipment Visible
While Charlie watches the cab take her family to Uncle Charlie's speech, the shadows of crew members are visible against the bushes in the background.

Crew/Equipment Visible
When young Charlie is reading the newspaper in the library, the camera casts a shadow on her back.

When Charlotte and Charlie cross the street to go to the bank, the street corner is empty. In the next shot, there are many people on the same corner.

The shadows on the wall vary during the scene when Mrs. Newton is telling Uncle Charlie about the reporters.

When Uncle Charlie first greets the Newton family at the train station, Charlotte's arm is around Ann's shoulders but switches to her side in a close up and switches again to being on her shoulders.

In the first scene at the Newton house, Ann's collar gets flipped up while she is standing to answer the telephone. In the next close up shot of her on the telephone, her collar is back in place.

When Charlie examines the ring at the library, the manner the ring is held in the closeup is not the same as immediately before or after.

Near the beginning of the movie, Ann answers the phone when the telegraph office calls. She delivers all her responses without pausing long enough to allow the caller to respond.

When the detective returns young Charlie home, her father and his friend can be seen walking around the veranda but young Charlie meets them along the garden path.

When Charlie is leaving the bank president's office Mr. Green is in the background standing behind his desk. He is striped with venetian blind shadows and his chair has a low rounded back. A moment earlier a close up of Mr. Green shows no such shadows and his chair has a high squarish back.

The train carrying Uncle Charlie to Santa Rosa, at first has a number 140 on the side and on a tag in front. As it pulls into the station, the front tag has disappeared, and the number on the side has changed to 142.

When Mrs. Newton is going to the telephone to inquire about the telegram, her left arm reaches for the wall and in the next shot reaches again.

When Charlotte Newton is talking to her father from her bed, her father switches from standing in the doorway to leaning against the door frame in between shots.

When Uncle Charlie leaves his room, the two men outside follow him. A shot from above shows them with very short shadows, showing that is around noon. They separate for a short while and when they meet, their shadows are much longer, though not enough time has passed for it to be that much later.

In the beginning of the film, when the landlady enters Uncle Charlie's room, he is lying on the bed with his hands crossed on his belly holding a cigar. For a moment he appears with his hands and the cigar on his chest.

Character Error
At the first dinner in the Newton home, Young Charlie is humming the "Merry Widow Waltz," she identifies it as the work of Victor Herbert. It was written by Franz Lehar, but no one disagrees with the Herbert attribution.
Alfred Hitchcock used the idea of "You destroy the thing you love" in this film. In Peter Bogdanovich/Hitchcock Interview, Alfred Hitchcock mentions the idea of "You destroy the thing you love" through Oscar Wilde. Young Charlie loved Uncle Charlie. But she ended up destroying him at the end of the film. In Truffaut/Hitchcock Interview, Hitchcock mentions that it is implied at the ending (Young Charlie with Jack Graham in front of church) that Young Charlie will be in love with her Uncle Charlie for the rest of her life.

Other vampire references: When the audience is first introduced to Uncle Charlie, he is lying on his bed, arms folded across his chest, suggestive of a vampire lying in his coffin. Uncle Charlie remains unseen on the train (traveling to Santa Rosa) is a lot like Dracula's trip from Transylvania to London. Unlike Dracula who drains the blood from a living being, Uncle Charlie corrupts the minds of the young ones by taking their innocence from them.

In Hitchcock/Truffaut "audio" interview, Hitchcock said this was his favorite film. In Hitchcock/Truffaut "audio" interview, Truffaut discusses with Hitchcock about the use of "two" in this film. Two Charlies (Uncle Charlie and Young Charlie), Two scenes at the railway station (the arrival of uncle charlie and the leaving of Uncle Charlie), Two men on the run (One man in the east and Uncle Charlie in the west), Two men on the run are killed (one by the plane and other by the train), Two policemen, and the two visits of police into the house.

Hitchcock puts lots of personal elements in this film. For Example, Alfred Hitchcock's middle name is Joseph. Young Charlie's father's name is "Joseph" Newton. Like Roger, Alfred Hitchcock was the third and youngest child in the family. Alfred Hitchcock's mother name was Emma Hitchcock. Young Charlie's mother's name is Emma Newton. Uncle Charlie's bicycle accident in the film happened to Hitchcock when he was young. Ann Newton reads the book "Ivanhoe" in the beginning of the film. Alfred Hitchcock knew the story of Ivanhoe by heart when he was young. Young Charlie drives the car in the family. Alfred Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville loved driving. Like Alfred Hitchcock, Herbie Hawkins (played by Hume Cronyn) is obsessed about the subject of the murder and he is also mother dominated.

There are several vampire references throughout the film, including: - Jack Graham asks Ann to tell Catherine the story of Dracula. - Uncle Charlie comes from Philadelphia, "Pennsylvania." Dracula comes from "Transylvania." - Uncle Charlie's line 'The same blood runs through our veins' is from the 1931 film Dracula, were Dracula says the exact same line in reference to Mina when he and Van Helsing have their "battle of wills" to prove he now has power over her. - Telephathic communication between Young Charlie and Uncle Charlie is also connected to the relationship between Mina Harker and Dracula. - Uncle Charlie is also killed on the train "returning" to the east, much like how Dracula dies returning to the east. - As the landlady lowers the blind and the light disappears from his face, Uncle Charlie rises. This image is also interesting to note, as the blinds are traditionally drawn where there is a dead man in the room.

Alfred Hitchcock: [bathroom] "BM" is engraved on a ring.

Alfred Hitchcock: on the train to Santa Rosa playing cards. He has the entire suit of spades in his hand, including the symbolic ace.

"Academy Award Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on September 11, 1946 with Joseph Cotten reprising his film role.

"The Screen Guild Theater" broadcast a 30 minute radio adaptation of the movie on May 24, 1943 with Joseph Cotten reprising his film role.

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on January 3, 1944 with Teresa Wright reprising her film role.

The name "Charlie" is spoken approximately 170 times.

The area shown after the Pulaski Skyway is known as the Ironbound section of Newark, NJ, which has also been used for location shots in Wise Guys (1986) and _War of The Worlds (2005)_.

A box office failure when it was released in 1943. The box office rank was #81 for the year.

The portrait that hangs on the wall of Charlie's room to the right of her door is one drawn by Willy Pogany of actress Mary Philbin, who was a leading lady at Universal just 20 years before.

Uncle Charlie is connected to all three children (Young Charlie, Ann, and Roger) in the family. Uncle Charlie is closest to Young Charlie. Like Ann, Uncle Charlie was always reading when he was young. Like Roger, Uncle Charlie is the youngest in the family.

"Shadow of a Doubt" was the script title but was listed as only a "temporary title" until a better title could be found.

The bridge in the opening of the movie is the Pulaski Skyway that carries U.S. Routes 1 and 9 between Jersey City NJ and Newark NJ.

Hitchcock wanted William Powell to play Uncle Charlie, but MGM refused to lend the actor for the film. So the role went to Joseph Cotten.

Alfred Hitchcock had wanted Joan Fontaine for the role of Young Charlie, but she was unavailable.

This film is the debut of "Hume Cronyn".

Patricia Collinge, who plays Emma Newton in the film, wrote the garage scene between Charlie (Teresa Wright) and Jack (Macdonald Carey).

The name of the waltz that is referred to throughout the film is "The Merry Widow Waltz".

In 1959 interview, Teresa Wright said that this was her favorite film.

Edna May Wonacott, who plays young Ann Newton, and Estelle Jewell, who plays Charlie's friend, Catherine, were both locals of Santa Rosa, where the film was shot on location. Many of the film's extras were also locals of the town, which was too far away from Hollywood to be affected by Actors Guild guidelines demanding the use of professional actors.

In his interview with François Truffaut on "Shadow" (first published in 1967), Alfred Hitchcock said the dense, black smoke belching from the train that brings Charles Oakley to Santa Rosa was a deliberate symbol of imminent evil.

Alfred Hitchcock often said that this was his favorite film.